Author Archive | frank

Rider and car (nearly) collide on the Koppenberg in the 1987 Tour of Flanders.

On Motors and Bikes: The Next Ride

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Every time I go riding, I know I subject myself to masses of cars and motorcycles, each of which has the potential to momentarily occupy the same space my bicycle and I are occupying, a physical impossibility that Nature will resolve via a messy process involving my death. I don’t know very much about the vehicles…

If you're not window shopping, you're lying.

Window Shopping

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One of the great dichotomies of being a Cyclist is that of our commitment to suffering paired against our fastidious attention to our appearance. We sacrifice endlessly for the sake of our craft, suffering hours on end in horrendous weather and diverting any money saved on depriving ourselves of food into maintaining and improving our equipment.…

What's got two thumbs and makes grown women weep? This chick!

Velominati Super Prestige: Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2016

by / / 191 posts

There are a couple things you need to know about the Women’s Racing Scene. First of all, they’ve been racing the fuck out of Belgium and Italy, and staying well clear of the warmer climes. They are also busy kicking off their first-ever WorldTour. No surprise in who the current leader is; Lizzy Armitstead has…

Spoiler alert, Greg. You're fucked.

Velominati Super Prestige: Milano-Sanremo 2016

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Milan Sanremo. I know we’ve been watching the men and women crush the cobbles already, and that’s the spiritual beginning of the season, but La Primavera is the longest Classic of them all, and the first race of the season that will be a genuine target for all the gunslingers. Which makes this the symbolic start to…

Hey guys, we're turning non-drive now.

Drive Side/Non-Drive Side

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I have a hard time with labels, which is why I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I remember the person and the conversation, but I rarely remember their name; the person had meaning, the label did not. I also can’t tell my left from my right which similarly feel like labels for “this way” or…

These cobbles don't stand a chance against little Lizzie A. Photo: Ashley Gruber.

This Spells Rain

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For those of you with an interest in the subtle art of Paying Attention, you may have noticed a few things about my writing technique: apart from the inescapable fact that it is untrained and terrible, I make a habit of overusing the semicolon, a practice I started when I heard my third grade teacher tell…

A bunch of new friends rolls along, getting to know one another.

Oversharing on the Group Ride

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My dog greets every dog on the street as though it were her long lost best friend. As soon as the customary butt-sniffing has been sorted out, the two dogs will wrestle each other endlessly, stopping only after an owner-forced separation. Any human that falls within her gaze is a viable candidate for a new home…

The Goldilocks Principle in full effect.

Goldilocks Principle: The Golden Ratio

by / / 127 posts

There is a disturbance in the V. I have felt it for some time, and I suspect many of you have as well. The matter has to do with the ever increasing length of bibshorts and socks, approaching the knee like two lionesses stalking their prey in the savanna. Tracing back to the origin of this trend,…

Today is a good day to ride.

The Fasting Ride

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I’ve been doing fasting rides on the weekend, before breakfast and maybe also before lunch, depending on how long the ride is. The longer the ride, the lower the intensity. Also the more likely I am to meet my old friend, the Man with the Hammer. I might bring an Emergency Gel, in its glass tube, but I…

A fenderless creature emerges from the bog of the Forest of Arenberg.

Fendangelism

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Mudguards (fenders) and saddlebags are two subjects that are sure to get our collective ire up as Cyclists. When I wrote in one of my columns for Cyclist that saddlebags should never be used, my editor told me that he received a record number of emails threatening to cancel their subscription on the basis that my column was a…

The Killer, Jan Lenferink, has arrived.

Anatomy of a Photo: The Eyes of March

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Some riders lose before they even arrive at the start line, questioning their form or their health, or allowing themselves to be demoralized by the weather or the distance of the day’s racing. Other riders win the race just by showing up. Jan won the moment he threw his woolly jumper over his flowery, collared shirt, and casually…

Phantom aero in the snow. Top marks, Michele.

Breathing Through Your Ears

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Suffering is part of Cycling the way alcohol is part of liver failure: they are obviously connected but it’s too much fun to stop and think about why you do it. Grace finds us through La Volupté, but her touch is rare and we generally are far better acquainted with her husband, The Man with the…

The Pro Mechanic. Is that a cigarette and is that diesel in there? Photo: HBStache

Dream Job

by / / 87 posts

I love working on my bikes. I feel closer to them, like a samurai sharpening their blade or a soldier cleaning their pistol; this simple act of preparation prepares us for the suffering that is to come, with the notable distinction that a Cyclist chooses this suffering with no tangible consequence while the warrior faces probably…

As a matter of fact, no, I hadn't forgotten how awesome I am.

Body Language

by / / 87 posts

A true leader rarely asks someone to do something for them; the best leaders inspire through their own example those around them to follow suit and join them in their cause. The leader is fueled by something that is not externally driven, it is born from within and appears in this world as passion and conviction. These…

Motors are acceptable for this.

Motorhead

by / / 178 posts

Motherfucker. I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article, much less using such a word to open an article, but seriously. Motherfucker. A motor discovered in an U23 rider’s bike at the Cyclocross World Championships has to be the lowest of the low that anyone can go. I’m so pissed off, I’m rhyming. Which itself makes me…

Keep the guns under cover until it's time to fight.

Gunslinger

by / / 80 posts

It is well known that knee warmers look better than leg warmers. Which isn’t to say leg warmers can’t look the business as well, but they will never look as good as knee warmers. The science is very clear on this. Nevertheless, I’ve been enjoying wearing full leg warmers even when the weather doesn’t necessarily require them. Something about…

This is a gordon, not a bidon.

To Bidon Or Not To Bidon

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This is serious, people. I hope you’re sitting down. Really. Sit down. Not a half sit. A real sit. Both cheeks. If you’re reading this on your phone, put the phone away and wait until you are sitting behind a computer like a civilized person. Ready? Deep breath. I have it on the excellent authority…

There are a few subtle indications of this not being  the right way to do it.

Doing It Wrong

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Cycling is a complex sport, one whose fabric is densely woven from the fibers of a Hundred Years War between evolution and tradition. The Rules were laid out in part to provide a path through the chaos, helping lead the disciple towards transcendence. In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Learn the rules like a pro, so…

These aren't the men you're looking for. Photo: Tim De Waele

Body Dysmorphia

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I am thrilled to announce that for the first time in my life, my chest measurement is smaller than my hip measurement, an accomplishment I’m not sure many men around the world would be proud to admit. A Cyclist has no use for an upper body, we’re not going about lifting things with our arms; we are…

Always store your bike in the mechanic's position: small-small to ease tension on the derailleur springs. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

On Rules #26 and #65: Spring Theory

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To hold opposing truths in one’s heart is a beautiful thing; to find resonance within contradiction is a liberating force that opens one’s mind to a wide world of possibilities. Life lived in black and white is a bland, simple world, after all: everything interesting in life happens in the gray space in between. There is…

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